Listeria Outbreak Hits the United States – Here Are the Symptoms – Best Life

The United States is experiencing a listeriosis epidemic, with 10 states currently affected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Although no one has died and only 10 have been hospitalized at the time of publication, the CDC notes that “the outbreak may not be limited to states with known illnesses, and the actual number of ill people in this outbreak is probably higher than the reported number.” That’s because some people don’t get tested for listeriosis and get better on their own, they write. Still, in light of this outbreak, which has affected people across the country, from California to New York, it’s important to know what listeria symptoms to watch out for.

If you’ve ever been pregnant, you’ve probably heard of listeriosis. A foodborne illness caused by bacteria Listeria monocytogenesThis is why people are advised to avoid eating soft cheeses and other unpasteurized dairy products during pregnancy, but anyone can get listeriosis. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that listeriosis is “a relatively rare disease”, but “the high rate of death associated with this infection makes it an important public health problem”.

Public health officials are interviewing those who have fallen ill as part of their ongoing investigation into the issue, but “a specific food has not yet been identified as the source of this outbreak,” the CDC reports.

“People most at risk of contracting listeriosis are pregnant women, newborn babies, adults 65 years and older, people with weakened immune systems due to medical treatments such as chemotherapy or antibacterial therapy. HIV/AIDS, and people with chronic conditions like diabetes,” says Pierre-Michel, MD, VUE Chief Medical Officer. He shared his tips for avoiding listeriosis, as well as some common and less common signs of infection. Read on to find out how you might feel if you have listeriosis and how to avoid the current outbreak.

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Who can resist a well-crafted charcuterie board brimming with brie, prosciutto and melon? Unfortunately, some of these foods are often the culprits in a listeria outbreak.

“People are more likely to get listeriosis from eating contaminated food,” Michael said. Better life. “This is especially true with foods such as unpasteurized milk or soft cheeses, processed meats like hot dogs and deli meats, seafood, cabbage, cantaloupe, and other unpasteurized juices. .”

According to the CDC, symptoms of listeriosis typically begin within two weeks of eating contaminated food, “but can begin as early as the same day or up to 10 weeks later.”

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Sick older man on the couch with fever

You might expect a case of food poisoning to lead to vomiting and diarrhea, but those aren’t the main symptoms Michael says to watch out for. If you have eaten food contaminated with Listeria monocytogeneshe says fever, muscle pain, headache, and stiff neck are the first signs you may notice.

The CDC is tracking cases in the current outbreak and says that if you become ill with listeriosis, “local or state health officials may contact you to find out what you ate in the month before you became ill. They may also ask for copies of receipts, your shopping card number, or leftover food to test.”


Of course listeriosis East a foodborne illness, so it makes sense that “in some cases it can cause nausea and diarrhea,” says Michael. However, he lists “confusion and loss of balance” before digestive distress when asked about the most common symptoms of listeria poisoning.

If you have a combination of fever, body aches, dizziness, brain fog, or stomach upset and suspect it may be related to eating foods containing listeria, contact your health care provider immediately . “Listeriosis can be treated if diagnosed early,” writes the WHO. “Antibiotics are used to treat severe symptoms such as meningitis. When infection occurs during pregnancy, prompt administration of antibiotics prevents infection.”

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A family washing vegetables while preparing a meal

When you’re at a party or in a restaurant, there’s not much you can do to make sure the food you’re served is listeria-free. But if you’re eating at home, practicing safe food handling techniques is the best way to stay healthy, says Michael. “This includes washing raw fruits and vegetables before eating, cooking all meats thoroughly, separating cooked foods from uncooked foods, avoiding unpasteurized dairy products, avoiding soft cheeses made from raw milk, reheating leftovers thoroughly , keeping cold foods at 38°F or lower, and avoiding pre-made sandwiches made with deli meats.”

In the meantime, if you want to play it safe, it might be best to avoid soft cheeses and other foods that are more likely to carry listeria, at least while this outbreak is active in the United States.

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